Around 1956 David Marshall and a friend George of Downieville rode their bikes from Downieville to Nevada City. The last few years as David approached his 70’s, he decided to once again take to Highway 49 on a two wheeler, powered by leg muscle, vehicle on the 47 mile trip. A pool was entered by friends to guess how long it would take. Part of the pool was the time he would give up on the attempt. Times varied from 4 hours to more than eight (by his beloved younger daughter). And so the date was set for early Monday morning September 24. This was a dream almost completed in the summer of 2011 except it was too darn hot and never the right time, in spite of an arduous training regimen. This year, the idea was formulated and without near enough training the weather was right and the time was set and off he went.

David Marshall leaving Downieville at 8 a.m. Monday September 24, 2012

Asked about the ride, David said,” it was fine, I stopped and snacked on Depot Hill and then again in North San Juan, and I never realized how much traffic there is on the Hywy after NSJ”. According to David there wasn’t much time to enjoy the scenery,  mostly he had to watch the road. No rattlesnakes or wildlife interfered with the ride.

Six hours and 10 minutes later David arrived in Nevada City.

David Marshall at the Nevada City sign, 6 hours and 10 minutes after leaving Downieville.

And the proud winner of the Pool? Dave’s brother, Jack Marshall who guessed 6 hours. Jack will receive his prize in the future, someday, maybe.


  1. Wow! Impressive!! What “drives” you, Dave?! Thought after Half Dome you would take it easier … but Depot Hill and heat and traffic …!?! Truly awesome accomplishment (as Tanner would say).

  2. Wow, what an accomplishment! We’re impressed with your determination and power. Keep up all that activity and one of these days we hope to see you again. xH and J

  3. Wow David! I am so impressed. I don’t think I could ride my bike to the mail box and I’m 4 years younger than you. You are just amazing.

  4. I knew this was on David’s bucket list and was really worried that this would be the very LAST thing on his bucket list! I’m so proud and in awe of him. What’s next Dad?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *